2016 Conference

Educational policy and practice across Asia, as elsewhere, vary hugely both between and within different national settings. And policies and practices are experienced in diverse ways by various social groups – defined in terms of socio-economic status, gender, ethnicity, religion or other dimensions of difference. What challenges, then, does diversity present for policymakers, educators and other social actors – and for comparativists trying to understand the history, politics and sociology of education? Or to what extent should the educational community think of diversity as a problem to be overcome, or a reality to be embraced?

These sorts of questions have preoccupied many scholars in the Comparative Education field in recent years. In particular, they relate to disputes between advocates and opponents of ‘World Systems Theory’ in its various forms. Proponents tend to argue that – for better or worse – diversity is being swept away by the rising tide of ‘globalization’. Critics, on the other hand, see diverse social realities as persistently subverting, refracting or otherwise transforming the impact of superficially homogenising forces – global or national.

Paper presentations will be grouped (provisionally) under the following sub-themes:

Comparing Systems

  • Defining education systems
  • Need of comparing systems
  • Area and regional studies

Comparing Cultures and Values

  • Multiculturalism
  • Cross-national studies
  • Intercultural understanding

Comparing Times and Places

  • Analysis of geographic entities
  • Histories of education
  • Strategies for comparing times and places

Comparing Race, Class and Gender

  • Comparing Race and Class Across Time
  • Comparing Race and Class Across Place
  • Educational equality and equity across regions

Comparing Curricula and Policies

  • International Policy Environment
  • Issues on Comparing Curricula and Educational Policy
  • Understanding Policy Perspectives

Comparing Pedagogical Innovations, Ways of Learning and Educational Achievement

  • Educational change, reform and innovations
  • Comparing pedagogical practices 
  • Politics of International comparisons of educational achievement